The Saskatchewan Stock Grower’s Association has been looking into the value of using canola meal pellets as supplementary feed for cattle on mature or low-quality forage.
The SSGA is working with producers who operate two herds of 50 animals each.
“One half will be supplemented partially two and a half pounds per animal every second day, and the other control group will or will not receive any supplements,” said Chad MacPherson, the general manager of SSGA. He said each herd will be on similar forage quality with the same access to water.
MacPherson said the experiment is slated to run for 60 days.
“So, by then, we’ll be able to measure the difference in average daily gain between the animals,” he said.
MacPherson said the project started when it was announced there would be additional canola crushing plants in Saskatchewan, with Viterra and Cargill both building plants in Regina in 2022, to be operational in 2024.
“We’ve got this canola meal product here, that’s a very nutrient dense, high quality protein supplement, but it’s not really being used hardly at all,” MacPherson said.
“But with all the announcements and crushing capacity, there’s going to be even more meal available. A bit of it is more about sending the signal to the feed companies that there is a need for it or that there’s a way of making it more desirable.”
As well, the SSGA has also looked into the nutritional and economic value of feeding livestock canola meal.
“On the cost side, we’ve actually done some economics, and (when) we kind of look at the quality versus quantity thing, you’re actually getting pretty good value. When you look at it from a nutritional perspective, you’re maybe paying more per unit, but you don’t need to use as much.”
Macpherson said he expects the results of the study to be published in early January 2022.